We took an hour to check all the maple buckets before the sap run starts again — and paused to walk in the river, find cool rocks, and try skipping rocks.
Tag: maple sap
Maple log — finishing boil
We used our DigiBoil 65L 240V pot to finish the sap since it’s quick to remove from the heat once the syrup is ready (and it’s got a spigot that makes emptying the pot easier). This also gave us a good picture of how long the DigiBoil is going to take to boil wort when we’re making beer. Yesterday, with temps in the upper 30’s, it took about 1h50m (basically two hours) to boil 10 gallons of concentrated sap. Today, with temps in the upper 40’s, it took about 50 minutes to boil 7 gallons of concentrated sap.
Sunday 05 March 2023
17:34 208F and rapidly boiling
1h50m to boil.
Flamed out just after midnight
Monday 06 March 2023
09:43AM – 68F turned on 500W
09:50AM – Turned on 2nd switch
09:56AM – 111F – turned on 3rd switch
10:32AM – 7 gallons is now boiling
About 50 minutes to boil.
Maple flame out at 2:34PM
Bottled, we have 3.5 gallons of maple syrup from our first run
Mid-Season Maple Collection Status
So far, we’ve collected about 121 gallons of maple sap. We started boiling the sap on the 23rd using our new maple evaporator.
Maple Sap Collection Log
|2/14/2023||All trees except river||60|
|2/18/2023||All trees except river||20|
|2/23/2023||All trees except river||15|
|2/26/2023||Back woods and front yard||12|
|2/26/2023||Top of Driveway – east and west||8|
Gathering sap … and moss!
Instead of taps with a hook for a bucket (which seemed, to me, like it would put a lot of stress on the tree!), we use ratchet straps to hold our maple buckets. One end of the “S” is passed into the fabric loop that holds the other “S” — and that other “S” becomes our bucket hook. I like the bright orange straps because it makes finding trees in the woods very easy (bright white buckets look obvious too, but they can hide behind the tree).
Our first set of buckets has large holes drilled into the lids — which are great for larger trees with multiple taps. But the new buckets we bought this year have tube-sized holes to prevent rain from leaking into the bucket.
2023 Maple Season – First Sap Collection
We tapped trees for the last few days and have our first sap collection — thirteen five-gallon buckets (not completely full, but around 4.5 gallons per bucket … so not 65 gallons but at least 58.5 gallons) waiting to run through the reverse osmosis.
This year, our starting sap measured around 1.006-1.008 SG at around 50 degrees. The reverse osmosis is running at just under 100 psi (at 100 psi, we are not getting any sugar water out). The output sugar water is measuring at 1.022 … which is 3.7 times as concentrated as before we filtered the sap.
The flow rate is about a gallon every ten minutes, or six gallons an hour.
Maple Sap Reverse Osmosis
Since I had the reverse osmosis system laid out for assembly, I figured I could take a picture to show how the filters are connected in series. Each filter “cleans” water out of the maple sap — that water is fed into a common output tube where we collect gallons of water (the clean water output lines are removed here so we can see the path maple sap travels, ignoring the clean water). We use this water for rinsing sappy stuff as we collect, filter, and boil the sap … also water we drink, bring out to the chickens and turkeys, give the cat, dump in the washer.
The “dirty stuff” that normally gets discarded? That’s the concentrated sap — each filter’s “dirty stuff” line is connected to the input of the next filter. Which then “cleans” more water from the sap and passes the “dirty stuff” down the line.
The maple “setup” is the reverse of the “drinking water” setup — below — where the “dirty stuff” goes to a common drain line for disposal and the clean water is sent to the input of the next filter for farther cleaning.
2023 Maple Season
2022 Maple Season
Well, the 2022 maple season is over — I think our taps have dried up because we’ve had a few freeze/thaw days and haven’t really yielded an appreciable amount of sap. We only got like 2.5 gallons of syrup this year — much less than expected … and we need to be ready to tap in January next year when the first week of freeze/thaw hits. While I love the flavor of late-season syrup, we’re getting way too many warm days in March for good sap production.
2022 Maple Season
We’ve been running the reverse osmosis system at about 95 PSI and concentrating the sap from around 2 percent to 7-8 percent. That’s a lot of water being pulled out (and the water tests at 0 … so we’re not wasting a statistically significant amount of sugar in the filtering process).